MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) Weary passengers rallied at the sight of both, but Triumph would have one last burst of defiance before entering Mobile Bay.
Thursday morning, we went along as a Mobile Bar Pilot crew worked its way to a staging scene near a buoy just south of Dauphin Island.
The mission? Deliver a bar pilot that would help the Triumph's captain steer the huge vessel between Dauphin island and Fort Morgan and on up the ship channel.
"Yes, we always board ships with some headway on them, usually about eight knots," said Mobile Bar Pilots' John Hunt. "These will be boarding at 4 so it won't be too bad."
The pilot crew arrived to a collection of tug and push boats, forcing the disabled cruse ship forward at about 6 to 8 knots per hour. It was time to make the delivery of the bar pilot to Triumph, a big and important moment that lasted only a a few seconds.
But minutes later, something went wrong. The cable on the tug boat snapped, recoiling and ripping the rails off a side of the tug boat.
Hunt's crew was called back to transfer the tug captain to another tug nearby.
Then came the challenge from the Coast Guard, because they had to check on the security of our vessel.
Suddenly, this whole towing process came to a complete standstill.
After radio discussion, the stalemate was resolved.
Hunt and crew came along side the tug, collected the captain, and moved him over to the next tug that would then hook up to finish the tow.
This would be one cruse that would travel against the current to the very end.